I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a “modern” embroiderer (more on this topic in the next few days). I think that sometimes there is a tendency to view ourselves in the present as the only ones capable of coming up with a modern, non-traditional take on a traditional skill. But this is obviously not the case.
One of my favorite movements in art is abstract expressionism. I’m not just talking about Jackson Pollock (who is awesome), but also Kandinsky, de Kooning and Kline and all the others. Which got me thinking… I bet there were some abstract expressionist fiber artists. And what do you know, I happened upon the amazing work of Mariska Karaz. (Seriously, just scroll through the gallery of her work. It’s awesome.)
There happen to be several works that are owned by museums nearby (the Smithsonian and the Baltimore Museum of Art) — but frustratingly, none are currently on view.
So, I have started on a piece that should (hopefully) look a bit like this Karaz piece. It’s very strongly influenced — and I’m using a Hungarian cookbook page as the base. I’ve got all my holes poked and am planning out exactly where to start. It’s good to have something in the works this time of year that’s for me as I am also working on a few gifts.